Honkers Lose After Early Lead
A solid pitching performance was again wasted Sunday, as Logan Spitzack kept the lead for Rochester through six innings of work, but the Honkers lost to St. Cloud by a score of 9-4.
The Honkers got on the board early with a walk and three straight two-out singles from John Schuknecht, Casey Fletcher, and Reid Roper. With two wild pitches in the inning, Fletcher scored to make it 3-0 and St. Cloud starter Josh Taylor was done after just an inning pitched.
The lead was cut to 3-1 in the second inning after a solo home run by Will Craig. Logan Spitzack gave up another solo shot in the fifth inning that cut the lead to 3-2. The fifth inning homer was the fourth solo homer Honkers pitchers have given up in the last two games.
Reid Roper answered that homer with a blast of his own. The homer was Roper's first of the year and gave Rochester pitching a little more breathing room.
Logan Spitzack returned to the mound to complete six innings with no further damage. Spitzack allowed just two runs on four hits and two walks.
The 4-2 advantage would not last long for Rochester. Michael Freeman came in for the seventh to relieve Spitzack and would not have much luck. St. Cloud got a runner on with one out on a strikeout pitch that reached the backstop for a passed ball. A single and then a double steal allowed a runner to score. One more run scored on a wild pitch to tie the game up at 4-4. Freeman struck out three in the inning, with two of them reaching base, and gave up two unearned runs in his return to action following his high ankle sprain in June.
In the eighth, Max Weinstein did not fare any better. A base hit and then three straight hit batters gave the Rox a 5-4 lead. Weinstein did not record an out before another call to the bullpen. This time it was up to Jeff Campbell to keep it close. A double by Charles Galiano to score two and a base hit by Bradley Strong to drive in two more gave the Rox a 9-4 lead and that's how the score would stay.
The Honkers head to St. Cloud for a 7:05 p.m. start Monday night. Nick Gruener will take the hill for Rochester. The Honkers will return for a six-game home stand on Tuesday, facing the Duluth Huskies at 7:05 p.m.